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Clyde In The Cumbernauld News - 1 May 2002

By Bob McPherson
Wed, 1st May 2002 12:00am

In this week's 'View From The Stands' article in the Cumbernauld News the new realism which is now being adopted throughout Scottish football is given a Clyde slant.

When Clyde first moved to Cumbernauld there was much talk about ‘here the dream begins’. It seems a long time ago and it’s not just Clyde who’ve stopped dreaming. So many football clubs in the last couple of weeks have announced that they are cutting back on players’ wage bills and declaring themselves to be ‘selling clubs’ that this summer could be a nightmare for many footballers and their families.

Despite this prospect, Clyde’s star man of the last few seasons, Jamie Mitchell, has opted to join a possible scramble to get fixed up with a new club. This week Clyde announced that Jamie had turned down a new contract. "We made him a very good offer, the best this club could possibly make, and he has rejected it," explained Clyde Manager Alan Kernaghan. "As far as we're concerned, Jamie will now leave the club in the summer. We're not going to make him another offer."

Fans favourite Jamie gave his reasons for opting to move from Cumbernauld. "I felt I had to take this opportunity to have a shot at the SPL," he said. "At my age, if I'm going to make the step up, it needs to be now. It was absolutely nothing to do with money or Clyde, I wouldn't leave for another First Division team. Three or four teams have expressed an interest in signing me, but there is nothing concrete. So I’ve taken a big gamble, but I don't want to look back in three or four years time and regret not going for it. Having said that, I'll be sad to leave Clyde."

The news of Mitchell’s departure has disappointed many Clyde fans but the new realism in Scottish football was reflected in the majority view that if Jamie wouldn’t take Clyde’s best offer then, regrettably, there has to be a parting of the ways. No-one wants to see Clyde being tempted into offering money it can’t afford, living beyond its means. At the same time players are entitled to get the best possible deal for themselves and Jamie Mitchell is leaving Broadwood with the best wishes of the Bully Wee support, who have appreciated and enjoyed his brilliant play in the white jersey of Clyde for the last few years.

Jamie Mitchell looks set to joins a long list of distinguished ex-Clyde players but there will be no shortage of candidates to replace him. ‘No one irreplaceable’, the unofficial Clyde motto for 125 years, has never seemed so apt.